Last weekend I performed with Tommy Tutone live, and I’ll playing with him another 10 or so times over the summer. How that came about is Rick Springfield added Tommy Tutone and Greg Kihn as extra performers on some of our shows, and Rick had in own band (including me) play with Tommy and Greg as well.
It’s always fun to play new gigs with new people, and the first show went really well. We weren’t given any charts or notes or anything to learn his songs, just MP3s of the songs to listen to and learn.
That’s why relying on sheet music is a bad idea, because often there IS no sheet music. So I learned the songs the same way I always do, and the same way most rock musicians do, which is exactly what I teach my Piano Genius Members in the members area:
- Listen to the songs enough to be familiar with them
- Figure out the key of the song
- Figure out the basic chord progression and write out simple charts
- Figure out your actual parts and jot down some notes to refer back to
…All based on just using your ear to tell whether it sounds right or not.
It works like a charm and is much easier, quicker, more effective, and most importantly can always be used. There’s not always sheet music available but your ears are always available to help you play once you’ve trained them to do their job. 🙂
This video below isn’t with me it’s just an old live performance Tommy did of his hit song 867-5309. At some point over the summer I’ll get some live clips of me playing with him and add them to the site. 🙂
Here’s my main point:
Virtually all of my musician friends learn songs exactly the same way that I do. If there was a better way or a quicker way or a more effective method to learn songs and to learn our parts, we’d use it, but there’s not.
Whether you want to play with Tommy Tutone, or play songs on the piano at family get-togethers, or you just want to play songs for yourself in the privacy of your room , this is the best way to do it.
If you’re even the slightest bit curious, become a Piano Genius member for a month and see what you think.
Related Post: I performed as part of Greg Kihn’s band